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long weekend.

i had a lovely weekend.
we worked HARD but had fun too.
we watched Mrs. Doubtfire and stayed up past midnight.
we grilled burgers and brats.  (and i made these turkey spinach &feta burgers for me… YUM)
we shopped at lowes and even the kids liked it!
we went to a HS football scrimmage.
craig made homemade ice cream.
our kids played basketball together.
we sat outside, listening to music on the deck and enjoyed the view.
i found the biggest grasshopper i have seen in my 38 years of life.

we had beautiful weather and terrible thunderstorms all in one weekend.

i got crafty for Camp CREATE.

we gave away the last of the kittens and are down to just two cats again.:)

i scored the best quilt E V E R at our local thrift shop.
we got take out pizza for dinner…meaning i didn’t have to cook.

annie and i made bunting past her bedtime.
i texted with friends i miss a whole bunch.
i finished a book.

i found out that i REALLY like this premade coffee and i REALLY like this almond coconut milk.

we went to our favorite pool on the last day it was open for the year.
and played with our new Watershot underwater case for my iPhone… AWESOME!!!
(i will post all the fun pics later this week… SO MUCH FUN!)
craig and i worked all day saturday and all day monday at the craft house.
yard work and pressure washer and gutter cleaning and painting and furniture moving.
we were so tired.

so i made margaritas.
this space doesn’t look like much now… but it will.
our swingset used to be here but we gave it away.
we cleared and cleaned and it’s ready for a facelift this week.

and my sweet husband sold his pool table for me.
it was a little sad to see it go but Craft Weekend just got a little roomier.
(don’t cry for him too long… our new house has a pool table so he can still play)

how was your long weekend?


Kerri - That is a gorgeous quilt!

danielle - I need to thrift shop more! That quilt is beautiful! Looks like a fun full weekend! We hiked, biked, went to church, and did our first day of school :)

Jenny B. - So many lovely photos! :) I am in love with that yellow tray from the thrift store!! I hit one flea market this weekend, and I was on the hunt for a tray, but came home empty-handed. Any chance you want to sell that one?? ;)

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soup for you!

thursday was rainy and a bit chilly and it was making me CRAVE a big bowl of soup!
here are 10 soup recipes i found that look amazing!

Chipotle Chicken Chowder
5 Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup

Lasagna Soup

Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

BBQ Chicken Pizza Soup | recipe at
BBQ Chicken Pizza Soup


Stuffed Peppers Soup

Pork Chili Verde

Sicilian Chicken Soup

the problem is… which one to start with?!

knowing me i will start with the ones that my kids would be most willing to try.  :)

Kristin S - Except for that stuffed peppers, I’m going to make every one of these at least once this winter. I love soup and love new-to-me recipes.

Suzelle - These ALL look SO good !! I want to make ALL of them….if it ever goes below 95*. I am over it !!!

Ellese - OOOOOhhhhh I just got hungry. This is perfect, just in time for fall where I only eat soup for lunch (practically). Thanks for sharing!

xo, ellese

Flower Patch Farmgirl - I’ll have one of each.
Also,we have stuffed pepper soup in the regular rotation. Big crowd pleaser. Super simple. And cheap!
I would like to have soup with you. Bye.

Colleen - Thank you for these and for you blog. that’s all, good nite!

Audrina - Wow, all these look so good! The weather’s getting cooler now, so I’m definitely going to try these out. Thanks for the ideas!

Danielle - That lasagna soup is begging me to make it this fall! Thanks for sharing all these great soup recipes.

Valerie - YUM! Wow that BBQ Chicken Pizza one looks delish! Soup is heavenly on a nice Fall day :)

Laura H - Drool….
I have a fantastic recipe for Broc Cheddar soup! Just like Panera Bread! And my kids actually like it :) Can’t wait for cooler weather to come this way!

Cami - That lasagna soup is my jam! It’s amazing! Am looking forward to trying the soups you’ve posted. Thanks :)

Stephanie - Chilly?! In August?! It’s been so long since I had that experience, I forgot it happens in some lucky locals. Thank you for posting these! I’m trying to save money this grocery day and soup always does it!

Michelle Whitlow - I was just saying the other day that I was craving some soup now that our temps have turned more fall-ish! That chipotle chicken chowder looks yummy!!! And homemade tomato basil soup is always on our list in chillier months! I especially like to add cheese tortellini to it :)

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friday of a holiday weekend?
the best.
tonight we have HS football and i am hoping the rain stops.

last night on instagram i posted a picture saying that we striped Scott’s helmet.
until last year i had no idea what that meant just like you probably don’t.
photo 1
the helmets are just white and at the beginning of the season the parents all show up in the gym and put new fresh stickers on their son’s helmet.
they are pretty heavy duty stickers.
and you use a hair dryer to kind of melt them to mold a flat sticker onto a curved surface.

i was throwing quite a fit in the car on the way there saying “why can’t the boys just do this themselves?! why do WE have to go? why can’t they just buy helmets with the logo on them? isn’t that a thing? don’t they make those?”
then we get there… and sitting with my husband on the gym floor… working together on our son’s helmet… seeing a gym full of parents  (many of them our friends) working for their kids…. i got a little choked up inside.
it’s actually a pretty cool thing!
it is neat to see your community together.
all these people who are wanting a good season for ALL the boys… not just their son.

and because i am  anti-social (at times…) i would’ve missed out on it.
(but craig duerksen don’t you dare hold that statement over me the next time i try to avoid being with people!;)

photo 2
school sports are quite different than the travel teams where kids come from all the place to be on a team and play teams from all over too.
that crowd always makes me feel uneasy.
i don’t always trust those crowds with my child… does that make sense?
the parents get CRAZY.  it’s sad and embarrassing to witness.  it makes my Mama Grizzly tendencies flare up.
i don’t trust that they want the best for my son.
but with your school team there is a unity present.  there’s pride in the work the team and coaches are doing together and the adults recognize that.

after the stickers are on,  you write a note to your son, roll it up and put it in their helmet.

that was when i realized i was being a jerk and this was kind of a neat tradition that i was not appreciating.
writing “love” notes just doesn’t happen too much over here.
the teen age years can be hard.
not BAD or awful of course… but still a challenge.
everything is a battle it seems for some kids and parenting through that leaves me not feeling up for writing sweet notes too often.

photo 3
and even though i am a nervous wreck every single game when my basketball loving son  plays football… i am proud.
proud that he is working hard, stuck it out and is having fun out there.
and that his helmet looks soooo good.

(the tape with their name is just so the parents knew which helmet to get…it comes off before the game)  :)

ira lee - my oldest is a senior in hs this year and its already been an emotional ride. so i get where you are coming from; the sense of community, pride in your children, the sense of togetherness. maybe its southern football!! lol

KWolff - This is such a cool tradition! I hope that your Friday Night Football is fabulous and that the victory bells will ring out for y’all.

Adrienne - I feel the same way about school sports vs club! Friday night lights is my favorite! I have a senior this year, so it’s a big, BIG deal (to us anyways)!

Tessa - I LOVE THIS!!! I am forwarding this post to my husband who is a football coach … not sure if they can do the same tradition, but if they can I am totally encouraging it. My son plays 9th grade football this year, and so next year he will be in the high school team. He also has a concussion, and so this would be especially meaningful to pray over his helmet to protect him. Thanks so much for sharing this!

Molly - this is pretty cool!!! i grew up in a small iowa town, so all thee traditions. i get it. they are pretty cool. and your mascot is pretty intense!

katie Skiff - That is a fun tradition, but I am the same way. Home. alone. Much better for me. lol…
Tonight was our scrimmage, and I don’t know if I am ready for High School football.

Liz M - HS football sometimes gets a bad rap, but the traditions– like you described–are so powerful. I love the note tucked in the helmet! Sort of double protection. I miss the Friday Night Lights…enjoy these years!

Becca - I am so glad you explained, I thought you meant putting the tape with his name on it. Obviously not a sport family. Cool tradition:)

martha - what a great tradition! (especially the note in the helmet) and may I mention your shoes???? loving them!! :)

Flower Patch Farmgirl - You guys are the sportiest.
Also, yay community!
And yay stripes!

Kerri - That is a very scary looking Swather. Praying all our boys have a safe season without serious injury. I love football, but not too disappointed that my son didn’t play.

Kristin S - I want your sneakers!

s - I can’t imagine you as antisocial since you genuinely seem so friendly. I am a total somebody so I would have felt the same as you but it sounds like a wonderful tradition. And sports…brings out the best and worst of people. My kids play for fun….they aren’t the best, don’t have a killer instinct so it sometimes gets difficult to watch and hear the other parents screaming… but I try to just enjoy regardless…it’s all about being part of a team, getting some exercise and learning skills, persistence and dedication. Loved the note in the helmet!

Amanda J - I also love your shoes.! Where did you find them?

Lorie - That is such a great tradition and I am so glad you didn’t miss out on it!

Sami - Oh my goodness! You’re a Hesston Swather! We always played you guys in sports growing up and I thought your mascot was so fitting for Kansas (I mean after someone explained to me what a swather was.:) We were the Canton-Galva Eagles. Small towns UNITE!! I love the unity created with the sticker party. And the notes you put in the helmets are so precious. If my son plays football, I hope they do that. If not, I might have to start it. :)

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the super hike

we talked about renting canoes or kayaks for this area (Colter Bay) but then decided on taking the boat tour.
that way no one would tip, get soaked or drop oars and much less fighting would occur.
the boat tour was a good choice.

we saw a bald eagle.  :)
hey… who is that?
oh yeah – MOM!
you know one great thing about a vacation where you hike all day and sleep in a “cozy” cabin?
no make up.
i used it once the last night when we went out with friends.  :)
i like no make up.
a lot.

also on a vacation with lots of hiking and cabin-y things… no cell service.
so here we were out on a boat in front of the most gorgeous scenery and suddenly someone noticed that we had service!  i admit that it was even exciting to me.  but this picture of scott cracked me up.
because literally this is him.
all the time.
talby was the age where life jackets were still required.
she was thrilled about it… just kidding.
funny  kids.
“here mom… let me take a picture of you taking a picture”


we also took the hike down (all paved sidewalk ) to see Mammoth Falls in yellowstone.
CRAZY awesome.
and scary.
i don’t like heights.

it was so high.  you can’t even grasp it by the picture.
i like her.

then we drove farther and went to see where we HAD been.
so to the left of the fall you can see tiny little specs… those are people.
that where the family picture was taken.
our next hike was Cascade Canyons by Jenny Lake.
it blew my mind.
one thing i learned on th boat tour was that Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks have a “let it burn” policy.
so if there is a forest fire… it is left to burn out on it’s own.
and that it is part of nature… killing off certain bugs or plant diseases.
interesting isn’t it?
so this trail obviously had experienced a forest fire.
but it made it look SO COOL!

i kept saying things like “doesn’t this look fake?”
“this looks like a movie set!”
“this can’t even be real!”
“where are the ewoks?!”
“are we going to find ET?”
a couple that did not speak english was looking at this chipmunk.
i took the picture and they asked “what do you call this?”
i said “chipmunk”
she repeated “CHIP-MUNK?”
i thought it was so funny.
it’s not but i was laughing to myself all day about it.
and still now i can’t stop smiling.
it was a long hike.
according to google… 3.5 miles each way.
no wonder i was tired!
he’s a cutie.

annie was my hiking buddy for most of the time.
the boys were so fast and talby was trying to keep up with the boys.
and craig was keeping up with her.
so annie and i just went as fast as we could.
“Look Mom!  A huge heart rock!!”

this was where our hike ended.
we were ready for a break!
the kids all found ways to get in the icy cold water but not fall in.

then scott decided to take the shortcut back.
oh my.
with his phone in his pocket.IMG_4758
he made it.
crazy kid.
then we hiked all the way back down at hyper speed because it was about to pour.
the kids were so far ahead of us that we couldn’t see them.
the trail was almost empty… kind of eery.
i was sure a bear was going to appear in my path and i would be its dinner.
thankfully that didn’t happen.

as soon as we go to the car it did start to rain.
but we were dry!
and then the vice president and his motorcade drove by!
that isn’t something that happens every day… at least not for me.

on our last night we walked out to catch the last sunset.
sean said “mom… here’s a rock that looks like africa!”  :)

we left Grand Teton National Park and headed to Sheridan, WY to visit some friends for one evening.
(gorgeous drive – oh my word!)
and then on sunday we drove the WHOLE way back to kansas.

to be honest… i was not looking forward to this vacation.
i just couldn’t imagine that it would be fun.
but i knew craig really wanted to go… so i halfway went along with it as he planned.
i wasn’t cheering  him on… but i wasn’t refusing.
and i am so glad i was wrong.

This was a FABULOUS vacation!!
i loved every hike.
i loved being outside.
my kids do so well with physical activity…less fighting when you are hiking.
it was so beautiful every where we went.
i highly recommend Yellowstone & Grand Tetons & colorado.
in case you were on the fence…. go for it.
you will love it.
but book your lodging now for next year because it fills up QUICK.


Anita - Oh my gosh my family just got back late last Friday from out trip to Yellowstone and Tetons. We did the same boat ride from Colter Bay. It such a beautiful part of the country. I love seeing your puctures.

Lisa - Wow! My Family and I toured Grand Canyon, The Arches and Bryce Canyon this summer. I, too, was a little hesitant (lots of driving; more my sons and husbands dream trip) and (just like you) I was so happy we went! It was stunningly gorgeous. A once in a lifetime trip. And the same is true about forest fires. We saw entire mountains of burned forest. So shocking. There was even a fire burning in Grand Canyon that the Ranger said was a low level burn and they were letting it go. Loved my family’s faces as we toured–pricelessly happy.

Kristin S - Absolutely beautiful. The scenery and your family!

Erin - Your pictures are truly breathtaking!!!!

stephany - The cell service thing is funny! When we go up to northern idaho to lake pend oreille the best place for cell service is the middle of the lake. My dad and husband have been known to go out on a jet ski to get on conference calls for work when we are there!

Jen - I’m so envious about this trip. I have the exact photo of the falls that you took but it’s from 1980 when I was last there as a 10 year old kid! I would love to go there with my family but we live in PA so it would be a looooong trip.

Melia - Meg-do you mind sharing what lens you used on your vacation pics? I’m assuming you didn’t haul a whole bad of equipment-I’m looking for an all-around lighter weight one to use for things like that.

Jenny B. - Beautiful! I am so glad to read that you didn’t want to go but went anyway and had a great time. That’s me. I would never be excited about a trip like this, but I think I would probably love it if I would just do it. :) Also, I am very impressed with Scott’s jumping ability. Good grief! I don’t know how he didn’t fall in. :)

jodie - chip-munk? hehheh

Carol S. - AAwesome trip and pics! I planned that trip from Chicago to Yellowstone, rafting in Bozeman, MN, then drive thru Black Hills, to Mt. Rushmore and stayed at national park lodging throughout. Very different active driving vacation, but memorable and fun for all of us. Fun for me to experience things first time with my family. You’ll never forget that trip.

Flower Patch Farmgirl - Amazing, Megz! I love it. I want to go now. Your pics were perfection! Good job, God!

Kimber-Leigh - your pictures are just beautiful. i hope to take our family one day soon! And i giggled about chip-munk…because all my children call them “chick-munks” and i just can’t bring myself to correct them!

Kimberlee Jost - All of it gorgeous.
Even without makeup.

Maureen - We live in Chicago suburbs and have driven twice to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons for family vacations. Favorite trips for all of us. Kids now all in college and were just saying that they wished we had gone again this summer but like Lauren all were working. I think that every family should make the effort to go. Nature at its best!!!

Jenn - Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing.

Mindy - What beautiful pictures! Sounds like an amazing family trip.

Lisa - Beautiful! What a wonderful trip for all of you.

Kristin - Love Cascade Canyon Trail!!! But I can’t believe you didn’t talk about how scary the trail to get to Inspiration Point is. Scared the heck out of me! I’m so glad you enjoyed one of my favorite places on earth so much.

Leslie - Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!

adrienne - my parents used to drag my sister and I to lake Dillon in Colorado, we hated it. looking back, I wish, almost daily, that we could be back there! hiking, horseback riding, going in the cheesey native American stores.. it was the best. dairy queen was our big reward after every hike. dad would make sandwiches on cheese onion bread (gross then, gross now!). just the best.

Sheridan Eketone - Sheridan is a PLACE?? I never knew that. My mother named me Sheridan after an American friend she made before I was born! Loved all your pics. It looks amazing! Please come to New Zealand & hike here so you can come meet me ;) xxx

Shellie - Unreal beautiful!!

danielle - Looks like so much fun! Hopefully it will not be as crowded if we go later in the year next year :)

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